Objects to Affordable Care Act requirement to purchase insurance
To the Editor,
I must respond to Dr. Gehrke’s 11/7 editorial, criticizing my view of Obamacare. I’ll begin by saying that I know you, doctor; you’ve treated my family members, and I respect your years of medicine.
But 35 years as a health care professional give me a different perspective, and you failed to address many of my concerns.
First, the inept, buffoonish rollout exposes what happens when no-bid sweetheart deals for the Obamacare website are given to the husband of Michelle Obama’s college roommate! The site should have been tested and re-tested, — it wasn’t.
We do agree that waste and fraud are rampant in health care. Then why didn’t your President put provisions in to deal with this?
Your argument about care rationing doesn’t address some facts: Breast cancer cure rates in England and Canada are much lower than the U.S. Why! Treatment times are much slower. Check the facts about availability of doctors, and delays in care, in countries with socialized medicine. That’s not what we expect here. My mother had a heart bypass at 85. Remember when Obama said a 90-year-old needing a pacemaker could “take a pill” instead? Denying necessary treatment to our elders is not our tradition of care.
Read the projections? Millions will lose insurance coverage they chose. I strongly object to government forcing people to buy coverage they don’t need, maternity care in a man’s policy, for example. We could have been given a menu of coverages to choose from, but then the government wouldn’t have control. And 30 million are projected not to have coverage when Obamacare is fully implemented. So it does re-distribute health (care), doctor.
You don’t address how good docs, like a nationally known orthopedist I know, are quitting medicine as a result, and many more plan to quit also.
You also seem to forget how Senate Democrats changed voting rules and passed this bill (“to find out what’s in it”), over Republican objections, including several Republican physicians. And it’s very likely that the 2012 election results would have been different if people had known the real facts about Obamacare, instead of being lied to about it.
You say “the U.S. doesn’t fare well” in life expectancy, etc. This is easily explained by a lack of personal responsibility, which I addressed. Do you really think people will stop smoking, quit overeating, exercise, or stop risky behaviors due to Obamacare? Bad lifestyle choices explain much of our unhealthiness.
Let’s discuss pre-existing conditions. Did you even know that the “Pre-Existing Conditions Insurance Program” (PCIP) provision of Obamacare is already broke? And it covered very few people?
So, after Obama lied about no one losing coverage, about “saving families $2,500/year,” about no new taxes (one percent on every worker this year), after stealing $700 billion from Medicare, after under-estimating its cost at $987 billion (now $1.8 trillion and rising), this PCIP is broke. Guess who bails it out? Taxpayers.
When you treated your cancer patients, doctor, no one told you what drugs to use. You used what you felt were the best for your patients, right? Similarly, most Americans would rather choose what health care suits their needs, rather than be forced to take coverage they may not want or need.
I also wonder if your perspective is skewed by the fact that your affluence insulates you from the reality that higher payroll taxes, and several hundred dollars per month in premium increases, really hurt middle, working and lower class families with budgets stretched thin. It’s not a criticism, but higher costs don’t impact high wage earners as much as working people.
Health care in the U.S. is far from perfect, yet people come from all over the world to receive care here. You don’t hear much about people looking to China, India, Sweden, England, or anywhere else. They come here. But instead of moving slowly, recruiting the brightest and best of health care, business, government, and private citizens, and implementing it wisely, look at this rollout to see what happens when government thinks they know what’s best for people, rather than allowing people freedom to choose what’s best for themselves and their families.